Human Rights First Accountability Activist Arrested in Moscow
Vladimir Kara-Murza arrested Saturday during independent political forum
WASHINGTON – Human Rights First’s President and CEO Michael Breen released this statement after today’s arrest in Moscow of nearly 200 Russian municipal officials, opposition leaders and activists, including Human Rights First’s Senior Advisor for Human Rights Accountability and Washington Post columnist, Vladimir Kara-Murza:
“Human Rights First condemns today’s arrests of the participants in a forum of independent politicians and activists, and we call on Russian authorities to immediately drop any criminal or administrative charges against those who were detained.
“Regardless of Russia’s authoritarian laws barring ‘undesirable organizations,’ discussing free and fair elections is not and must not be a crime. The cynical use of these laws to disrupt political gatherings and intimidate those who wish to participate in the political life of their country is a shameful and unacceptable act.
“Human Rights First stands with those who seek to exercise their political rights.”
Kara-Murza is a Russian democratic activist; at Human Rights First, he focuses on policy and advocacy related to the use of the Magnitsky Act and other targeted sanctions tools to address human rights abuses and acts of corruption. He also writes a regular column for the Washington Post.